JOHN M. KELLY LIBDADY
The Redemptorists of
the Toronto Province
from the Library Collection of
Holy Redeemer College, Windsor
St. Michael s College, Toronto
HOLY KEDEEMtt LIMARY,
THREE HOURS AGONY
ON GOOD FRIDAY
Uranslateb from tbe Spanish Original
FATHER ALONSO MESIA SJ.
WITH AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION
FATHER HERBERT THURSTON SJ.
" And I will pour out upon the house of David
and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit
of grace and of prayers, and they shall look upon
Me whom they have pierced : and they shall mourn
for Him as one mourneth for an only son, and they
shall grieve over Him as the manner is to grieve for
the death of the first-born." ZACHARIAS xii. 10.
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so
must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever
believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life
everlasting." ST. JOHN iii. 14, 15.
(From a fresco of Michael Angela on the roof of the Sistine Chapel.}
IT is our Saviour Himself who has drawn the
parallel between the lifting up of the serpent
in the desert and the lifting up of the Son of
Man upon the Cross. The inference seems
warranted, that if through the bitter death
and agony of Christ our Lord, " a worm and
no man," we are to be saved from perishing,
we must not ourselves remain entirely passive,
but must try to expel the venom of evil
passions from our veins by long and earnest
contemplation of the Crucified. " They shall
look upon Me whom they have pierced" Can
we find any better way of contributing to the
fulfilment of this prophecy than that afforded
by the devotion, now happily become so
popular, of the " Three Hours " Agony on
Good Friday ?
The object which this little book is in
tended to serve is twofold. It purports in the
first place, by means of an historical intro
duction, and by an accurate translation of the
author s original text, to set before English
readers the primitive conception of the devo
tion of the Three Hours, from which, wisely
or unwisely, the modern adaptations have
notably diverged. Secondly, it aims at pro
viding a manual for the use of communities,
or individuals, who are unable to attend any
of the churches where these meditations are
publicly preached. There must be many who
would gladly associate themselves in private
with that great outpouring of compassion
and supplication which is being offered
to God all over the world by so many
devout congregations and religious com
munities at the same hour. This is
rendered quite possible for all by the use of
Father Mesia s little volume of meditations
and instructions. Further, the practice of
this pious exercise of the Three Hours need
not by any means be confined to Good
Friday alone. It is probable indeed, as will
be seen from the Historical Introduction
which follows, that the devotion had its origin
in a devout commemoration of the Passion
of our Lord originally practised by a confra
ternity which met for the purpose on every
Friday of the year. That confraternity was
honoured with the appropriate name of the
Escuela de Cristo, the School of Christ ; and
surely there is no school where the lessons of
our Divine Master may so readily be learned
as in the meditation of His dying utterances
upon the Cross. It has been well said by
Cardinal Bellarmine, that the Seven Words
spoken by our Saviour in the three hours of
His agony are a compendium of all that He
did and suffered during the thirty-three years
that He lived upon earth.
In referring to some old volumes of the
Guardian, to trace the spread of the " Three
Hours " service among the Anglican churches
of this country, the following remarks were
met with, in connection with the first
introduction of the "Three Hours," nearly
thirty years ago, at St. Paul s, Knightsbridge.
They seem worthy of quotation here, as an
appreciation from an Anglican point of view
of a truth upon which nearly all Christians
must be agreed. Speaking of the congrega
tion who were present at the service, the
writer says :
Hard-headed men of business, Members of
Parliament, and many of both sexes, who are
better known in the world of fashion than in the
assemblies of the sanctuary were there, some of
them impelled no doubt by nothing better than
curiosity, but the feeling of curiosity was plainly
and speedily dispelled by the awe and fervour of
an unwonted solemnity, making itself visible here
and there in reddened eyes and tear-stained cheeks.
The service of the Three Hours is becoming
evidently and rapidly popular. Ought it to be
encouraged ? It has its dangers unquestionably
the danger, amongst others, resulting from the
tendency of all excited feelings to evaporate in
mere emotion, leaving the heart colder and more
callous than it was. But then, on the other hand,
the feelings must be roused if the appeals of
religion are to do any good. Feelings are the raw
material of character, and the system of the
Church offers a thousand opportunities for turning
them to account and preventing them from running
By the kind permission of the author of
the Life of Mother Henrietta Kerr, a set of
prayers to the Five Wounds, translated by
Mother Kerr from the Italian, have been
printed at the end of this little book. Also a
rough bibliography of writers upon the Seven
Words, founded mainly on a list given in
Cancellieri s Settimana Santa, has been added
in an Appendix. The prayer found in the
works of Venerable Bede, and belonging
seemingly to the eighth century, which is
prefixed to this volume, has been inserted as
the earliest known attempt to number and
group together the dying utterances of our
Lord upon the Cross. It will be noticed that
the order of enumeration differs slightly
from that now commonly adopted.
HERBERT THURSTON, S.J.
Feast of St. Gregory the Great, 1899.
THERE is a tiny little booklet in English,
printed in London as far back as I8O6, 1 in
which is set forth, to use the words of the
title-page, " the Devotion of the Three Hours
of the Agony of Jesus Christ our Redeemer,
as practised every year on Good Friday in
the Church del Giesu (sic) at Rome, from the
1 8th to the 2 ist hour, viz., from 12 to 3
o clock, with a Plenary Indulgence to all who
assist thereat in the above mentioned Church,
granted by his Holiness Pius VI., Anno 1789.
Originally composed at Lima in Peru, in the
Spanish Language. By the Rev. F. Alphonsa
1 This little volume (96 pp. 32mo) was "printed by
Keating, Brown, and Co., No. 37 Duke Street, Grosvenor
Square," in 1806. This edition is unknown to De Backer
and Sommervogel, who only mention the two later editions,
one of Dublin in 1844, and the other of London (Dolman)
(sic) Messia, SJ." Seeing how popular the
devotion of the Three Hours has become in
these later times, not only among Father
Mesia s own co-religionists in every part of the
world, but amongst Anglicans also, it has
seemed worth while to reprint this little
volume with an historical introduction, and
with such few corrections as a collation with
the original Spanish seemed to necessitate. 1
The plan prescribed in it differs in so many
ways from the arrangement now usually
followed, that no other excuse can be needed
for inviting attention to the earlier phases of
the history of this favourite Good Friday
Father Alonso Mesia, who first introduced
this pious custom, was born at Pacaraos in
Peru, on January ist, 1665, his father being at
that time corregidor, the chief civil magistrate,
of the district. It is needless to dwell upon
the details of his life. At an early age he
became a Jesuit, and spent many years in the
College of San Pablo, Lima, where he filled
1 The English version referred to was made from the Italian,
various posts of authority. He is described
as a man of truly apostolic spirit 1 "His
duties in the confessional/ we are told, " his
daily sermon in the market-place, his frequent
visits to the prisons and hospitals, his con
ferences and literary undertakings, absorbed
the whole of his time, without ever leaving
him a moment to rest. In spite of the
many ties and anxieties which fell to him as
Rector of the house in which he resided,
he was engaged unceasingly in works of
It was not strange that he endeared himself
greatly to the hearts of the people, so much
so that when the General of the Society in
1705 appointed him Provincial of the mission
1 Before he was called by obedience to labour in the
capital, we are told that he spent some time in studying the
native languages of Peru, and in preaching to the Indians.
2 General M. de Mendiburu, Diccionario Historico-
Biografico del Peru, vol. v. p. 310. Father Mesia s Life
was written by a fellow-Jesuit, Father Juan Jose de Salazar,
and was printed the year after his death, The book seems
to be very rare, and I have unfortunately been unable to
procure sight of a copy. It was unknown to Carayon, and
seems to be incorrectly described in the folio edition of
of Quito, 1 an uproar took place at the idea of
his leaving the city, and it was found impossible
to carry the nomination into effect. Six years
later, however, he was appointed Provincial of
Peru, and, as this did not take him away
permanently from Lima, the citizens seem to
have celebrated the occasion with public
rejoicings. Father Alonso was also appointed,
at various times, calificador of the Inquisition,
Doctor of the University of St. Mark, &c.,
with many other distinctions.
As an illustration of the authority which
he enjoyed, we may mention that the then
Viceroy of Peru, the Marquis of Castellfuerte,
who is described as a man of stern and in
flexible character, took Father Mesia for his
confessor, and "paid extraordinary respect
to his decisions." The following letter is
cited by General Mendiburu in proof of this
statement. It was written to Father Mesia
by the Viceroy, from Callao, in 1725, at a
1 There were seemingly two Provinces of the Society of
Jesus in these regions, one called the Province of Peru,
which had its head-quarters at Lima ; the other known from
its principal residence as the Province of Quito,
time when the latter was overwhelmed with
the pressure of business.
Most Reverend Father, I forward the enclosed
case (consultd) to obtain your Reverence s opinion
upon it. The matter is so important that I desire
to have a safe conscience, and to settle everything
in accordance with justice, and I was resolved to
take no step of any sort which was not guided by
so Christian a rule as is the prudent, learned, and
holy decision of your Reverence. I remain, with
deep veneration and obedience, &c., at the feet of
Father Mesia died in 1732, at the age of
seventy-seven. He is described by the editor
of the most authoritative modern work on
Peruvian history as a man conspicuous for
his humility, his spirit of penance, his charity,
and his uprightness. " He rendered many
services to religion, and helped to elevate the
moral tone of his countrymen, especially
showing great devotedness in assisting the
families of those who were ruined by the
earthquake of I687/ 1
1 Mendiburu, I.e. p. 313.
It is in connection with this last-named
event that the Devotion of the Three Hours
seems to have had its origin. It has been
asserted, and the probabilities appear to con
firm the statement, that the terrible catastrophe
of 1687, which was only eclipsed by the still
more disastrous visitation which in 1746 laid
the city of Lima in ruins, first suggested to
the holy Jesuit the idea of propitiating the
offended majesty of God, by some conspicuous
and public act of atonement. The earthquake
of 1687 actually took place on the 2oth of
October, but six months before, on the night
of the ist of April, which that year fell in
Easter week, a premonitory warning had been
given by a shock so severe, that it awoke all
the sleeping inhabitants of Lima, and brought
them out of their beds into the streets. 1 If I
am not misinterpreting the description given
1 See the account printed in the Collecion de las Relaciones
de los mas notabihs Terremotos, &c., edited by Colonel of
Cavalry M. de Odriozola, pp. 25 and 199. It seems charac
teristic of the South American republics, that all the literary
men who are not ecclesiastics, are invariably either colonels
or generals. Colonel de Odriozola, if I mistake not, is
principal librarian of the National Library.
in the printed "Relations," our Father Alonso
was undoubtedly one of the preachers who
bade the people take warning, and threatened
them with further chastisements if they neg
lected the admonition. After this, according
to the same account, there followed a still
more startling portent An image of our
Lady in a private chapel was observed, on
the feast of the Visitation (July 2nd), to shed
tears and to be bathed in moisture, in a way
of which no natural explanation could be
I should be sorry to commit myself to
any expression of opinion regarding the
authenticity of this marvel, but there can be
no doubt that the believers in it were
thoroughly sincere, and that the phenomenon
was repeatedly observed by crowds of people
between the beginning of July and the time
of the earthquake, and even afterwards. A
good deal of popular excitement seems to
have resulted, and after the awful catastrophe
of October 2oth, the terrified inhabitants,
fearing to trust themselves inside the churches,
half of which were in ruins, 1 erected some
temporary altars in the great open square of
the city. There the statue was solemnly
enshrined, and became the object of much
popular devotion. To recall the memory of
this terrible chastisement, an annual celebra
tion was instituted on the anniversary of its
occurrence, which was preceded by an eight
days mission. The closing ceremony took
place on the 2oth of October of each year, in
the Jesuit church of San Pablo, to which
Father Mesia was attached, and it was
marked both by a General Communion and
by a solemn procession, in which the Viceroy,
the Audiencia, and the Cathedral Chapter
took part. Much evidence might be produced
of the fervour with which this custom was
1 Veranse deshazer Torres noveles
Desde la alta Linterna al fundamento
Y a las basas unir los Capiteles
Las Columnas en impetu violento :
Las que sustentan arcos y linteles
Maquinas, al furioso movimento
La Mole muderan pues el desmonte,
Si Edificio caera, se alzara Monte.
(Barnuero, Lima Fundada, canto vi. stanza Ixxx.)
kept up for long years afterwards, 1 but we may
content ourselves here with quoting an acci
dental reference to it contained in a diary
written after the still more terrible earthquake
of I746. 2 Under date October 20, 1747, the
writer states :
On this day there took place in the evening the
supplication before the Holy Crucifix of Contrition
(la rogativa al Sancto Cristo de la Contrition], and
the concluding service of the week s mission insti
tuted by Father Francis Xavier, a former Provincial
of the Society of Jesus. This is usually conducted
by the Jesuit Fathers in the church of their College
of San Pablo, and during it they preach discourses
upon suitable subjects to crowded congregations,
1 There is mention of it, for instance, in a little four-page
leaflet entitled, Memorias y Noticias de los Sucesos sobresali-
entes en esta ciitdad de Lima, 1723; and in the Life of
Father Francis del Castillo, S.J., by Buendia, p. 643. Also
in the poem of Peralta Barnuero, entitled, Lima Fundada,
bk. vi. st. 90.
Continue un Terremoto en muchos dias
Conserverara en los pechos los horrores :
Memoria de tan duras agonias
De annuos ruegos seran sacros fervores
Asi havran dado en Oblaciones pias
Culto a eternos Divinos Protectores ;
En que el recuerdo hard con accion clara
Lo triste en el dolor, gozo en el Ara.
8 Printed by Odriozola, Terrcmotos, p. 126.
with great fruit to souls. And on the same day in
the morning, in memory of the terrible destruction
caused to life and property by the earthquake of
Oct. 2oth, 1687, and in commemoration also of
the sweat and tears of the miraculous image of the
Candelaria, 1 . . . there was held in the presence of
the Viceroy, &c., the solemn celebration of the
festival vowed and endowed by the city under the
title of Our Lady of the Warning. On this festival
there have been accustomed to communicate in
the church of San Pablo as many as ten, twelve,
and even fourteen thousand persons, but in this
year, 1747, both on account of the multitude of
devout persons who have died, as also on account
of the large numbers who have left the city, the
Hosts consumed in distributing Holy Communion
hardly amounted to four thousand.
Now although in the impossibility of con
sulting the Life of Father Mesia, it would be
dangerous to speak too positively, there is
strong reason to believe that in the Rogativa
before "the Holy Crucifix of Contrition,"
alluded to in the foregoing extract, we
1 In this miraculous statue the Child in our Lady s arms
grasped a candle. The statue was hence known as La
should trace the first germ of the Devo
tion of the Three Hours, afterwards prac
tised on Good Friday alone. It seems
clear from other sources that certain exercises
of piety were performed on Fridays by a
confraternity directed by Father Mesia, under
the name of the " School of Christ," in a
chapel of the church of San Pablo, in which
were venerated both the above-mentioned
statue of the Candelaria, and the Crucifix
known as the Cristo de la Contrition. 1 The
devotion excited by, and the fruit to souls
which resulted from, these exercises were
evidently very remarkable, and we can well
believe that some similar practice of piety,
extending over the space of three hours, may
have been devised by Father Mesia to mark
the greatest Friday of the year, the day which
commemorates the Passion and Death of our
Saviour. The need of some special form of
1 These facts are attested by the Life of Father Castillo,
p. 643 ; and by an earlier passage in the document already
cited in Terrcmotos, p. 125. Cf. the Preface by Father
J. E. Uriarte, S.J., contributed to the Spanish Edition of
Cardinal Bellarmine s De Septem Verbis prolatis in Cruce.
supplication and atonement may very possibly
have been further brought home to the inhabi
tants of Lima by one of the numerous minor
shocks of earthquake which alarmed the
citizens between 1687 and I/46. 1 Be this
however as it may, we shall do well to turn
now to the Preface of the tiny booklet already
referred to, which, being founded on the
earliest printed copy of the " Three Hours,"
may be quoted entire. No attempt has been
made to alter the writer s phraseology.
Alphonso Mesia, an apostolic man of the Society
of Jesus, was the first who introduced this devotion
at his native city, Lima. It began at mid-day, and
continued till three in the afternoon on Good
Friday : and so great was the spiritual joy and
consolation felt by those who assisted him on this
occasion, that it met with general approbation, and
afterwards made a rapid progress.
At first the servant of God, accompanied by
several devout persons, practised it privately in his
1 There were earthquakes in 1688, 1694, 1697, 1698,
1699, 1713, 1715, 1724, and 1725. I have before me the
contemporary Relacion of that of 1699. Even on this
occasion sixteen persons perished in the ruins, and much
damage was done to property.
own church ; but the year following, so much was
it thronged by a concourse of people, anxious to
assist at a devotion so properly adapted to the day,
that the pressure of the crowd obliged him to go
into the pulpit. From thence it diffused itself thro
nearly all the parish churches and monasteries of
religious in the city of Lima: from thence over
Peru, Chili, and Quito; and at length transferred
itself even to Carthagena, Panama, Mexico, and
other provinces of the kingdom.
But as the genius of mankind is various, no
sooner had this devotion transplanted itself into
different places, among persons who had not seen
it practised at Lima, than there appeared so great
a diversity in the books of the Three Hours, 1 that
one could scarcely believe it to be the same devo
tion which had begun at Peru, the method was
now become so confused and difficult, whereas at
first it had been plain and easy. To apply a
remedy to so great an inconvenience, it was
1 Considerable differences may be noticed between the
edition which must be considered most authoritative, that
edited by Father Uriarte in 1886, and another copy which I
have before me, published by the Propaganda Catolica of
Madrid, in 1877. Still further removed from the original
text of Father Mesia, is a French version of the devotion,
printed by Gunner, at the end of a little book on the
Stations of the Cross. This last bears hardly any resemblance
whatever to the first form of the meditations as originally
designed by their author.
thought necessary to translate the author s book,
and give an explanation of the manner in which
it was practised by himself, in order that by
printing and publishing both, a more general uni
formity might prevail in the performance of a
devotion which was so rapidly extending itself
among the faithful in other cities and provinces.
Good Friday being therefore a day held in such
high veneration among the faithful, it were to be
wished that, on so remarkable a day, Christians
would emulate with each other in the fervent
practice of the Devotion to the Three Hours of
the Agony of Jesus Christ, our ever blessed
Redeemer ; the method whereof is as follows :
A crucifix, or image of Jesus crucified, being
placed on the altar, with a convenient number of
lights (decorated in some places in so solemn a
manner, that the very sight alone inspires respect
and veneration), the priest, who is the director
of the function, placing himself before the altar,
or else in the pulpit, begins by making the sign of
the cross; and after having invoked the Holy
Ghost, he makes a short exhortation, in order to
persuade his hearers how just and necessary a duty
it is for a Christian to accompany his Redeemer
during the Three Hours of His Agony on the
Cross, which, out of His immense charity, He
suffered for our redemption ; a subject which must
naturally excite the most tender devotion. He
then proceeds to explain, as well what the Saints
have said as what they have learned by revelation,
on the utility of accompanying Jesus Christ in His
agony, in order that we may become worthy to be
accompanied by Him at ours. Much may be
learned on this article from Albert the Great and
St. Bernard, from the Lives of St. Catharine of
Sienna, St. Gertrude, St. M. Magdalene de Pazzi,
and many others. Afterwards, the priest having
recited with the people something adapted to the
subject, such as the Salve, or other prayers to our
Blessed Lady of Dolours, and all the assistants
being seated, he begins to read the Introduction,
at the conclusion whereof all kneel and medi
tate, in silence, on some point of the Passion,
whilst the choir, accompanied by the harmonious
melody of instruments, sings something analogous
The priest then having read leisurely with a
tender affectionate voice the First Word, the people
kneel and recite or sing some stanzas or verses
illustrative thereof. At the end of the canticle the
priest rises, and the people still remaining on their
knees, recite alternately with him ten Paters and
Aves, or any other prayer that may be found at the
end of each word ; and this method is observed
at the termination of each of the Seven Words.
We must here observe, that the Director should
confine himself so strictly to time as not to fall
short of, or exceed three hours : for, as the intent
of this devotion is, that it should finish precisely
at the time that Jesus Christ expired ; so the
recital of it must be performed slower or faster in
proportion to the measure of the time that remains;
and if he perceives that there remains more than
sufficient, he may add a short exhortation, or such
of the canticles as may be suitable, in order to
arrive just at the expiration of the Three Hours.
When this term approaches, after the seventh word,
the priest reads, with many pauses of tenderness
and devotion, the last apostrophe at the end of
the book. Should there yet remain any time, he
says the salutations to the five sacred wounds of
Jesus Christ, which may be also found at the end ;
but if there be no time to spare, they are omitted.
On the dial-hand s approaching the point of
Three, all kneel down, whilst the choir, with a
tender voice, sings the Credo, measured in such a
manner, that when the clock strikes they sing,
Crudfixus et mortuus est ; at which words the
priest rises, and with a loud and compassionate
voice exclaims, Jesus Christ is dead! our Redeemer
has expired! our Father has ceased to live!
Then with great affection he pronounces an exhor
tation to tears of compassion, of tenderness, and
of sorrow for sin ; addressing himself, alternately,
to Jesus Christ, to His most Holy Mother of
Dolours, to sinners, &c., when all finishes with a
fervent Act of Contrition. 1
It will be noticed from this account that
the devotion, as originally devised by Father
Mesia, and as practised in Italy in the early
years of the present century, differs in more
than one respect from the plan now cn-n-
monly followed. What we are now accustomed
to is a series of discourses with musical
interludes, the congregation kneeling only
during the recital of a few vocal prayers.
The original conception was a three hours
meditation made by the people themselves,
upon their knees for the most part, points
being read aloud for convenience sake at
suitable intervals. The only extempore dis
course seems to have been an exhortation
delivered at the beginning, with, in some
cases, a similar address at the close, after the
three hours had really been completed. Even
in Spain this plan seems early to have under-
1 Preface, iii. xi.
gone some slight modification. The following
description by the unfortunate Blanco White, 1
which belongs presumably to the first decade
of this century, will be read with interest :
The practice of continuing in meditation from
twelve to three o clock of this day the time which
our Saviour is supposed to have hung on the
Cross was introduced by the Spanish Jesuits, and
partakes of the impressive character which the
members of that Order had the art to impart to
the religious practices by which they cherish the
devotional spirit of the people. The church where
the three hours is kept, is generally hung in black
and made impervious to daylight. A large crucifix
is seen on the high altar, under a black canopy,
with six unbleached wax-candles, which cast a
sombre glimmering on the rest of the church.
The females of all ranks occupy, as usual, the
centre of the nave, squatting or kneeling on the
matted ground, and adding to the dismal appear
ance of the scene, by the colour of their veils and
1 Mr. Blanco White, a Spanish priest of English descent,
who joined the Church of England for a while, and ultimately
died an Agnostic, was a prominent figure in Oxford society
between 1830 and 1840. He is more than once referred to
in Cardinal Newman s Lectures on the Present Position of
Just as the clock strikes twelve, a priest in his
cloak and cassock ascends the pulpit, and delivers
a preparatory address of his own composition.
He then reads the printed meditation on the Seven
Words, or Sentences spoken by Jesus on the Cross,
allotting to each such a portion of time as that,
with the interludes of music which follow each
of the readings, the whole may not exceed three
hours. The music is generally good and appro
priate, and if a sufficient band can be collected,
well repays to an amateur the inconvenience of
a crowded church, where, from the want of seats,
the male part of the congregation are obliged
either to stand or kneel.
It is, in fact, one of the best works of Haydn,
composed a short time ago for some gentlemen
of Cadiz, who showed both their taste and liberality
in thus procuring this master-piece of harmony
for the use of their country. It has been lately
published in Germany under the title of Sette
Haydn s music for the Seven Words was
originally designed as a series of short sym
phonies for instruments only. After some
years, however, he modified this plan, arrang-
3 Letters from Spain, pp. 260, 261. By "Don Lucadio
Doblado" (i.e., Blanco White). 1825.
ing the music for a chorus, with a libretto the
source of which has been much disputed and
still remains uncertain. In any case, these
words have no apparent connection with the
coplas originally composed by Father Mesia.
Haydn 1 himself has left us a brief account of
the occasion of his undertaking the Sette
Parole in the year 1785. He writes concern
ing it in March, 1801 :
It was about fifteen years ago, that I was asked
by one of the Canons of Cadiz to compose a piece
of instrumental music on the Seven Words of Jesus
on the Cross. At that time it was the custom
every year during Lent to perform an Oratorio in
the Cathedral at Cadiz, the effect of which was
greatly heightened by the mise-en-scene. The walls,
windows, and pillars of the church were draped in
black cloth, and the religious gloom was only
1 In Pohl s Biographic Joseph Haydrfs several composers
are named who have written upon the Seven Words.
Before Haydn s time there were L. Senfl (in the sixteenth
century ; cf. Monatshefte fur Musikgeschichte, 1876, p. 149),
J. Gliick, H. Schiitz, and C. G. Schroter. In the present
century there have been Count Castelbarko, Joseph Lutz,
Mercadante, Gounod, and Th. Dubois. The last-named,
whose beautiful, if slightly theatrical, composition has been
performed for the last few years during the Three Hours at
the Jesuit Church of Farm Street, London, first published
his work in 1870.
lightened by one large lamp hanging in the centre.
At mid-day all the doors were closed, and the
music commenced. After a fitting prelude, the
Bishop ascended the pulpit, recited one of the
Seven Words, and gave a meditation on it. When
it was ended, he came down from the pulpit and
knelt before the altar. This interlude was filled
by the music. The Bishop mounted and left the
pulpit for a second time, a third time, and so on,
and on each occasion, after the close of the
address, the orchestra recommenced playing. My
composition had to be adapted to this method of
execution. It was not an easy task to produce
seven Adagios in succession, each of which must
take about ten minutes to perform, without wearying
the audience ; and I soon found that I could not
keep rigorously to the prescribed limits of time. 1
In this account it is not very clear whether
the meditations were read from a book or
1 Pohl s Biographic Joseph Haydn s, vol. i. p. 214. When
Haydn sold the right of reproducing this composition in
France to a Parisian publisher, he for a long time remained
without payment. At last, when he had almost given up
the hope of seeing his money, a box arrived one day from
Paris. Haydn got his servant to open it, and found to his
astonishment that it contained a chocolate tart. "What
possible use can this be to me ? " he grumbled. However,
he proceeded to cut it open to give a portion to the servant
for his trouble, when out there tumbled a roll of silver
whether they were spoken discourses. In
Italy, at any rate, it seems that the method of
Father Mesia was strictly adhered to. None
the less, the devotion spread very rapidly
there. It is mentioned by Brancadoro, the
biographer of Pius VI., that he never failed to
attend the Three Hours at the Church of the
Gesu, and this Pope granted a Plenary Indul
gence, Confession and Communion being of
course presupposed, to all who assisted at
it. In 1818, according to Cancellieri, 1 the
service was held in four or five other places
in Rome beside the Gesu, and was known
everywhere throughout the world. In England
it seems to have been confined at first to a
few Jesuit churches, but in the early sixties it
was taken up by the Ritualists, and since
then has become strangely popular even with
Anglicans of Evangelical views. St. Paul s
Cathedral, London, has had a Three Hours
service on Good Friday for more than twenty
years. 2 Many of the other Cathedrals have
1 Settimana Santa, Appendix.
2 It does not seem easy to obtain accurate information as
to the date of the introduction of the Three Hours Service
followed suit ; and there are also, of course,
a number of the larger parish churches,
into Anglican churches. The following letter, which is
quoted in the Guardian for March 3Oth, 1864, may be given
for what it is worth. The writer, who signs himself "A Priest
who was present," there says : "I believe the English
Church is indebted to Mr. Mackonochie for the revival or
an adaptation of an admirable ancient Office in commemo
ration of the Three Hours on the Cross. At all events such
an Office was held at St. Alban s [Holborn], and I gladly
direct attention to its details. The service began at 2 p.m.
with the Litany of the Church. Mr. Mackonochie from the
pulpit then explained the outline of the Office, and, with the
help of the choir, conducted it. First some general remarks
were made upon the whole subject, then the word from the
Cross was chanted by the whole choir. This word was
taken as a text for a short address or meditation. Then,
by invitation, the congregation knelt for a short space in
meditation on the points put forth by the preacher, whilst,
as he said, the organ played soft music. Lastly a hymn
on the Passion to a popular tune was sung. And this
completed the first portion of the Office. The same order
was followed throughout, and a few words of exhortation
concluded the service, which, I was astonished to find, over
passed the allotted time by half an hour. It was a most
Catholic and beautiful office, and which any clergyman may
adopt. . . ." In an editorial note it is added : "We have
heard that there was somewhat of a similar service at
St. Matthias , Stoke Newington, which was crowded with
worshippers." The services referred to took place in 1864,
apparently for the first time. The first English Cathedral
to adopt the "Three Hours" was St. Paul s, where a
numerously signed petition for its introduction had been
sent to the Dean and Chapter. It was held for the first
time in 1878. An attempt was made by a Protestant Associa
tion to organize a demonstration outside the Cathedral to
protest against the service, but the police authorities inti
mated that no such assembly would be permitted.
besides the more distinctly Ritualistic centres,
where the devotion has long been popular.
In most of these, if I mistake not, the modern
practice is followed of preaching a series of
seven or eight little sermons, interrupted by
music, but in some a space is left free between
each Word for quiet private meditation.
There is, as far as I have seen, an
absolutely unanimous agreement in attribut
ing the origin of the Three Hours service to
Father Mesia. Neither is there room for
doubt that the received history of its develop
ment, by which it is supposed to have spread
from Peru to Spain, from Spain to Italy,
and thence throughout the Christian world, is
strictly accurate. A difficulty, however, has
been raised on account of the existence, as
far back as the year 1624, of a sermon by a
Franciscan Friar, bearing the following title,
Sermo Trihorarius de Prcecipuis Dominica
Passionis Mysteriis habitus ipso die Parasceves
a Fratre Nicolao Orano, Ord. Min., Lovanii,
1624. Curiously as this title seems to
anticipate the service now familiar to us, the
book stands alone, and cannot, without further
evidence, be pleaded against the clear tradition
and the contemporary records which connect
this devotion with the name of Father Mesia.
In the first place, Sermo Trihorarius, as used
by a Latinist of that age, might as easily
mean a sermon about the Three Hours as a
three hours sermon. It would not, I think,
have sounded extravagant then for a preacher
to entitle a similar discourse about the Burial
of our Lord, &c., Sermo Triduanus deprczcipuis
Christi Domini Mysteriis factis in SepulcJiro,
where, of course, Sermo Triduanus would not
mean a sermon three days long, but a sermon
about the three days. However, even granting
that the word Trihorarins refers to the dura
tion of the discourse, it is possible that the
author only wished to recall the fact that he
did actually preach on a particular occasion
for three hours together. Long sermons were
much more in fashion then than they are
now. Giacomo Volaterrario, in his diary,
printed by Muratori, 1 relates that in the year
1 Rerum Italicartun^ xxiv. 130.
1 48 1, on Good Friday, William the Sicilian,
of the household of the Cardinal of Amalfi,
delivered in the presence of the Pope a
discourse on the Passion of our Lord. " He
was a man learned in Hebrew, Greek, and
Latin, and he passed in review all the mysteries
of the Passion of Jesus Christ, confirming them
by the authority and writings of the Hebrews
and the Arabs, quoting their very words in
their own language. The discourse, although
it occupied the space of two hours, neverthe
less delighted every one, both for the variety
the preacher gave to it, as well as for the
sound of the Hebrew and Arabic words, which
he pronounced as though they were his own
native tongue. Everybody commended the
preacher, the Pontiff and the Cardinals among
It seems clear from this account that the
impressiveness of " that blessed word Meso
potamia," has not been felt for the first time
in our day.
Still more startling must have been the
sermon which Father Evangelist Marcellino,
a Franciscan Observant, preached upon the
Passion in the Duomo of Florence in 1685,
lasting three hours and a half. Cancellieri
declares that in his time it was common for
Spanish preachers to go beyond two hours,
a remark which is well borne out by the
satires of Father Isla, in his Fray Gerundio.
However, what seems to me decisive in
rejecting any claim which might be advanced
on behalf of Fra Nicolas Orano, is the
absence of any trace that the devotion was
taken up by others. Even by the biblio
graphers of his own Order, as for instance,
John a S. Antonio, his book is either over
looked or imperfectly described. The same
John a S. Antonio gives an elaborately
classified list of Franciscan sermons, and the
occasions on which they were preached. In
this, Fra Orano s sermon is alluded to, but it
stands absolutely alone. To all appearance,
he had no imitators even amongst his own
Order. We are justified then, it seems to
me, in refusing to allow that Father Mesia s
claim can be seriously contested until some
evidence is produced of a custom of delivering
such Three Hour sermons previously to his
The only other allusion I have found to
any similar practice, is a statement made by
Father J. E. de Uriarte, S.J., in his Preface to
Bellarmine s Seven Words, already referred
to. There is a little book, he says, entitled,
Constituciones y Reglas para el gobierno de la
Real Congregation de Indignos Esclavos del
SS. Sacramento . . . en su Oratorio publico
de la Calle del Olivar (Constitutions and
Rules for the administration of the Royal
Confraternity of the Unworthy Slaves of the
Most Holy Sacrament ... in their public
Oratory of the Calle del Olivar), in which it
is asserted that, "as early as the year 1648,
another most devout exercise was established
and practised on Good Friday, which consists
in the maintaining of an uninterrupted prayer
in this Oratory from mid-day until three in
the afternoon, in reverence of those same
three hours during which our Saviour Jesus
Christ hung dying upon the Cross. In order
to arouse the devotion of those present, there
are read at intervals the meditations on the
Seven Words (las Meditaciones de las Siete
Palabras) which our Lord spoke at that
time." 1 I must confess that until better
evidence is brought, I am inclined to believe
that the date 1648 has been accidentally
misprinted for 1748. The writer seems to
refer to "the meditations of the Seven Words,"
as to a well-known exercise of devotion. This
is intelligible enough in 1748, sixteen years
after Father Mesia s death, but we have no
knowledge of any recognized set of medita
tions to which the words could apply in
1648. Cardinal Bellarmine s are a great
deal too lengthy to have been used for such
Finally, there is no difficulty in supposing
that the same idea may have occurred inde
pendently to two or even to many persons.
In Father Mesia s case the germ fructified
and spread. In Fra Orano s, the idea was
still-born. That the Peruvian Jesuit had been
1 Ch. iii. Edit. 1780, p. 49.
anticipated, at least in one instance, and that
more than thirteen hundred years before his
day, we now know upon unexceptionable
evidence. The account of this, which only
came to light a few years since, is found in
the Gaulish lady s note -book, best known as
the Pilgrimage of St. Silvia, 1 where we learn
the singularly interesting fact, that in the
city of Jerusalem, within the basilica built
by Constantine over the site of the Holy
Sepulchre, there was celebrated at the, end of
the fourth century a three hours service on
Good Friday, closely akin in spirit to that
devised by Father Mesia. It is to be feared
that the piety of modern days cannot bear
comparison with that of St. Silvia and
her contemporaries, but the object of our
present service is identical with that of the
assembly which she describes in the following
1 First published by Signer Gamurrini, in 1887, from a
MS. at Arezzo. It has been reprinted by Duchesne as an
Appendix to his Origines du Culte Chretien, and in other
collections. An English translation may be found among
the publications of the Palestine Pilgrims Text Society.
But when (on Good Friday) the sixth hour has
come, the people assemble in the court before the
Cross, and there they are packed so tightly that
it is hardly possible even to open the doors. The
Bishop s chair is placed before the Cross, and from
the sixth to the ninth hour nothing is done but
read those passages of the Scripture and the Holy
Gospels which have reference to the Passion of
our Saviour. . . . And at the several lections and
prayers there is such emotion displayed and
lamentation of all the people as is wonderful to
hear. For there is no one, great or small, who
does not weep on that day during those three
hours, in a way which cannot be imagined, that
the Lord should have suffered such things for us.
And thereupon when the ninth hour (three
o clock) approaches, that passage is read from the
Gospel according to St. John where our Lord gave
up the ghost ; and when this has been read, a
prayer is said and the assembly is dismissed.
When we remember the extraordinary
rigour of the Lenten fast amongst these
Eastern Christians, many of whom passed
five consecutive days in the week absolutely
without food, and all of whom seem to have
abstained for periods varying from twenty-
- 38 -
four hours to three days, 1 we shall better be
able to understand the cost at which this
pious exercise of compassion with the Three
Hours of our Saviour s Agony was carried
out. Nearly the whole of the preceding
night had been spent by these early
Christians of Jerusalem, both young and
old, in contemplation and prayer on the
Mount of Olives. In the grey of the early
morning they had returned to the city
to snatch a few brief hours of slumber in
their homes, but as early as eight o clock,
a.m., the exercise had begun, as St. Silvia
informs us, of the kissing of the relic of the
True Cross. The Bishop sat, holding the
sacred wood in his hand, with the deacons
around him. Each worshipper then came up
in turn, bowed down, touched the relic with
his forehead and his eyes, kissed the wood of
the Cross and the title, and then passed on.
If any one would convince himself how abso-
1 These things sound incredible, but they all rest upon the
high authority of St. Silvia s narrative, and they are con
firmed by the statements of St. Epiphanius and St. Jerome,
lutely identical in spirit are the devotions to
the Passion now practised, say, for instance,
in the " Three Hours," or the Stations of the
Cross, with those of the early Christians in
the fourth century, let him read such authentic
memorials of that age as the Pilgrimage of
St. Silvia, the Hymns of St. Ephraem, or the
still earlier fragments of St. Melito of Sardis. 1
Whatever objection may be raised against
the exercise introduced, or should we not
rather say, revived, by Father Mesia, it cannot
rightly be called new-fangled, or even " un-
1 Some few specimens of these have been cited by the
present writer in a pamphlet entitled Dean Farrar on the
Observance of Good Friday,
ON THE SEVEN WORDS OF CHRIST
ON THE CROSS.
A PRAYER FOUND IN THE WORKS OF THE
Blessed be the Sweet Name of Jesus Christ
our Lord God, and of the Most Sweet Virgin
Mary, His Mother, now and for ever. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
who while hanging on the Cross, at Thy life s
close, spake seven words, that we might
always have those holy words in remem
brance, I beseech Thee, by the virtue of those
seven words, that Thou wouldst forgive and
spare me, whatever I have sinned and mis-
done by the seven deadly sins, or their fruits,
namely, through pride, avarice, lust, envy,
anger, gluttony, and sloth.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living
God, as Thou saidest, " Father, forgive
those who crucify Me," make me for love
of Thee to forgive all who wrong me.
And as Thou saidest to Thy Mother,
"Woman, behold thy Son," and to Thy
disciple, " Behold thy Mother," make Thy love
and true charity unite me to Thy Mother.
And as Thou saidest to the thief, "To-day
shalt thou be with Me in Paradise," make me
so to live that at the hour of death Thou
mayest say to me, u To-day thou shalt be
with Me in Paradise." And as Thou saidest,
" Eli, Eli, Lama Sabacthani," which is, " My
God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
make me to say in all times of sorrow and
tribulation, " O Lord, my Father, have mercy
on me a sinner, rule me, my King and my
God, who hast redeemed me with Thine
own Blood." And as Thou saidest, "I
thirst," that is, for the salvation of the Holy
Souls, who were in Limbo expecting Thy
coming, make me always to thirst to love
Thee, the fountain of living water, the fountain
of eternal light, and to desire Thee with my
whole heart. And as Thou saidest, " Father,
into Thy hands I commend My Spirit,"
make me in my last hour, to be able to
say fully and freely, " Father, into Thy hands
I commend my spirit. Receive me coming
to Thee, because Thou hast now set 1 a certain
time to my life." And as Thou saidest, " It is
finished," which signifies that the sorrows
Thou didst bear for us, miserable sinners, are
now ended, make me deserve, when my soul
goes hence, to hear that most sweet word of
Thine, "Come, My beloved soul, for now
have I resolved to make an end of thy pains ;
come, and with Me, and with My saints and
elect, enter into My Kingdom, to feast, and
rejoice, and dwell therein for ever and ever
1 The printed editions read, " Quia non constituisti certum
tempus vitse mere," where non seems to be a misprint for
THREE HOURS OF THE AGONY
JESUS CHRIST OUR REDEEMER.
BY FATHER ALONSO MESIA, SJ.
The Exercise begins with the recitation of the
Veni Creator Spirittis.
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come
From Thy bright heavenly throne :
Come, take possession of our souls,
And make them all Thy own.
Thou who art called the Paraclete,
Best gift of God above,
The Living Spring, the Living Fire,
Sweet Unction and True Love.
Thou who art sevenfold in Thy grace,
Finger of God s right hand ;
His promise teaching little ones
To speak and understand ;
Oh, guide our minds with Thy blest light,
With love our hearts inflame ;
And with Thy strength which ne er decays,
Confirm our mortal frame.
Far from us drive our deadly foe ;
True peace unto us bring ;
And through all perils lead us safe
Beneath Thy sacred wing.
Through Thee may we the Father know
Through Thee th Eternal Son,
And Thee, the Spirit of them both,
Thrice-blessed Three in One.
All glory to the Father be,
With His co-equal Son ;
The same to Thee, great Paraclete,
Whilst endless ages run. Amen.
Then is sung the INVITATION in the following words :
For His faithless people, Jesus, the gentle Lamb, is
about to die, nailed to the rood on Calvary. Whoever
would show himself a loyal follower, let him not lose
these gracious moments, but let him draw near to listen
to His dying words. 1
1 It has seemed better to be content with a prose rendering
of the Spanish verses, the original of which will be given in
each case in a footnote.
For su pueblo fementido,
Ya clavado en un madero
Va Jesus, manso cordero,
Sobre el Golgota a morir.
Quien de serle fiel se precia,
Ah ! no pierda estos momentos,
Y sus ultimos acentos
Presto, presto venga a oir.
As faithful Christians who love our Saviour
Jesus, and who have been bought and redeemed,
at the price of His most precious Blood, Death,
and Passion, from the slavery of sin and the devil,
we ought to contemplate, with the greatest attention
and reverence, the anguish and torments which our
beloved Redeemer suffered on the Cross during
the three hours of His agony torments so exces
sively cruel that, according to St. Bernard, no
human understanding could comprehend or created
tongue express them.
From the sole of our Saviour s foot to the crown
of His head no part remained whole. Consider
Him well, O my soul, one huge wound from
head to foot : His shoulders and His whole body
torn by whips and scourges His breast weakened
by blows His head horribly pierced by thorns
the hair of His beard torn off from the flesh His
face covered with contusions from the blows His
veins emptied of their blood His mouth parched
with thirst His tongue tormented with bitterness
from the gall and vinegar His feet and hands
pierced with great nails, whilst the wounds they
have made are gradually lengthened by the weight
of His body His heart afflicted, and His soul
ready to depart, overwhelmed with insupportable
sorrow and anguish. And yet in truth it was not
this which most afflicted Him it was His own will
that delivered Him up to the torments of the Cross.
What pierced His Heart most during His agony
was the knowledge He had of our sins, and of the
small return we should make for so much love. It
was our ingratitude that caused Him to feel the
agony of death. Ah ! who can reflect on it without
horror ? Where is he who will not deplore the evil
of sin from the bottom of his heart, since it is sin
alone that has caused our beloved Redeemer to
suffer such a mortal agony ?
During these three long hours of terrible
torment, in which the waters of bitterness could
never quench the flame of His charity, He offered
His Life and His Blood as a sacrifice to His
Eternal Father for our happiness. During these
three hours, although with our eyes we do not
see Him, He had us incessantly present to His
mind, to offer Himself for each individual of us,
as if each had been the only creature in the world,
and the sole object of His love. During these
three hours He saw the least of our sins with all
its circumstances as clearly as He does at the
moment we commit them, being so deeply
penetrated with grief at the sight, that out of com
passion He offered His most precious Blood in
satisfaction for them. During these three hours He
wrested the handwriting that was against us out of
the hands of the devil, the prince of this world,
nailed it to the Cross, and effaced it with His
Blood. During these three hours, at the price of
His bitter agony, He purchased from His Eternal
Father all the treasures His Bounty had to give,
viz., all the good thoughts, holy inspirations, and
Divine helps, with which we have been favoured.
O blessed mindfulness of our most sweet Re
deemer ! O the boon of those three golden hours
employed for our deliverance from guilt, during
which we were present not only to the memory of
our loving Saviour on Mount Calvary, but near to
His Sacred Heart burning with love and infinite
charity. O Christian souls ! how can we repay
what we owe our most sweet Jesus, unless, during
these three hours, we try to prove in turn our own
great love for Him ?
Let us, therefore, address ourselves to the Eternal
Father, our God and our Judge. Inspired with
confidence by the agony of Jesus our Redeemer,
let us say to Him, in all humility and affection
of our hearts : O Eternal Father ! supreme Judge
and Lord of our souls, whose justice is incompre-
hensible ! since Thou hast ordained that Thy most
innocent Son should bear the burden of our
immense debts, look down, we beseech Thee, upon
His excruciating agony and sufferings which He is
enduring during these three hours on account of
our crimes. Deign to accept the ransom so
worthy of Thy Majesty, which He offers Thee
of His Blood, in order that Thy justice may be
appeased. Let Thine indignation cease, O Lord,
and since Thou art now abundantly satisfied, grant
that we, being freed from our debts by the three
hours agony which Thy Son Jesus suffered through
His immense love for us, may deserve to obtain
what He asks in our name, viz., the pardon of our
sins, and the powerful assistance of Thy grace, now,
and at the hour of our death.
Here all kneel down to meditate on what has been read ;
during which time some appropriate music may be played or
sung, together with the following verses :
Come to Calvary, Christian souls, for our sweet
Jesus from the A Itar of the Cross wishes to speak to
your souls to-day. 1
When they are seated again the priest reads aloud the
1 Al Calvario, almas, llegad,
Que nuestro dulce Jesus,
Desde el ara de la cruz
Hoy a todos quiere hablar.
THE FIRST WORD,
Uttered by our Saviour on the Cross.
FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW
NOT WHAT THEY DO.
Behold our Heavenly Master sitting exalted in
His doctor s chair, the gibbet of the Cross.
Hitherto He has kept profound silence, and now
He opens His Divine lips to teach the world in
seven words the most sublime doctrine of His love.
Be attentive, O my soul ! animate all thy
powers : it is God Himself who teaches thee : He
will demand a strict account of these seven lessons.
O Jesus, full of love for us ! O Divine Master !
speak speak, O Lord, Thy children hear Thee.
All nature is disturbed at beholding the suffer
ings of its Creator. The earth is covered with a
thick darkness ; an earthquake rends the rocks
asunder, and bursts open the graves; the angels
are horror-stricken in beholding their Lord in such
cruel torments ; the devils are raging with anger,
because the chastisement which men deserve for
their sins is not immediately inflicted on them,
as it was upon themselves. We might imagine
that all nature, irritated against sinners, demanded
justice and vengeance of the Eternal Father: Usque-
quo, Domine, sanctus et vents, non vindicas sanguinem
Filii tui ! How long, O Lord, just and holy, wilt
Thou delay to wreak Thy vengeance upon sinners
for the Blood of Thy innocent Son, and for all
the injuries committed against Him ? We might
imagine that at the moment this cry made itself
heard, Divine Justice was about to discharge the
thunders of its anger to avenge itself on criminal
But the Redeemer of the world, displaying His
infinite charity, raises His nearly sightless eyes to
His Eternal Father, testifying His obedience, and
says : My Father and my Lord, restrain the arm of
Thy justice. I conjure Thee by this Cross upon which
I die, by the Blood I shed without ceasing, I entreat,
I demand of Thee to pardon sinners the crimes which
have placed Me on this Cross.
Father / forgive them, they know not what they
O sinful soul ! hearken attentively to this first
word. Listen to Jesus, as He calls upon His Father
who was your Father also from all eternity. Behold
the greatness of your origin ; you are no less than
the child of an Eternal God. O Eternal Father!
can I then call Thee my Father, I, who am so
ungrateful and guilty a child ? What strange blind-
ness has separated me from Thee ? What an
unaccountable folly to despise Thy caresses and
Thy grace for the vile love of creatures ? Into
what a miserable state have my sins brought
me ? Whither do my passions lead me? What a
wretched condition I find myself in when I offend
Thee. O most affectionate Father ! I am miserable
in my sins ; to whom shall I turn my eyes ? I will
turn them towards Thee, O Father of Mercy. But
how can so ungrateful a sinner presume to return
and appear in the presence of a Father whom he
has so grievously offended ? Yes, return, O afflicted
soul ! return for God is always your Father. I
will return ; but miserable wretch as I am my
courage fails me on account of my iniquities :
my crimes are without number, and I fear lest
those looks of love should be converted into
looks of anger : it is better to die than approach
Him. Go, I say, repenting soul, go for He is
your Father ; and this Jesus, whom your sins have
crucified, is your Brother : it is He who presents
you to His Father ; it is He who beseeches Him
to pardon you, and offers His Blood for your sins.
Jesus, O loving Brother, give me those blessed
feet that I may kiss them with my lips, and
bathe them with my tears. What ! is it Thou who
askest pardon for my crimes? and is it possible
1 do not die of love for Thee ? Wretch that I am
how great is the hardness of my heart. Go then
with confidence, O repenting soul. Go, sinner, and
obtain pardon. Behold, Heaven, moved with pity,
interests itself in your behalf. Your most merciful
and compassionate Saviour prays thus to His Eternal
Father for you : O Father, behold at Thy feet these
miserable sinners ! remember not, O Lord, that they
have crucified Me, but rather that I die for them :
instead of their sins, remember My love : not their
ingratitude, but the Blood that I have shed. Look
not upon their sins, but upon the life I offer for them
on this Cross.
Father ! forgive them, they know not what they
O infinite charity of our gracious Saviour, the
flames of which the cruel waters of tribulation
could never extinguish ! O what sublime doctrine
has He not taught us in this first word ! Hearken,
O my soul, how He excuses those who crucified
Him how He pardons His most cruel enemies,
and in them all sinners who have offended Him,
and who by their offences have nailed Him to the
Cross. Father ! forgive them, they know not what
they do. Learn, O my soul, from the example of
Jesus, never to exaggerate the faults of others, or
to resent the affronts you may receive. Learn to
excuse the offences of your neighbour, even though
he should be your enemy ; never put an unfavour-
able interpretation on his actions, but attribute his
errors to ignorance, inadvertency, zeal, or any other
cause, rather than an evil intention. O what a
terrible burthen is laid on revengeful souls by this
word of our Lord ! He beseeches His Eternal
Father to pardon the many criminal words and
actions wherewith you insult and crucify Him, and
yet you nourish rancour in your heart, and refuse
to pardon a trivial word, or slight affront, for His
sake. O unaccountable obstinacy ! What feeling
of Christianity can remain in the soul of him
who has no compassion for his enemy? If you
care only for those who flatter you, and you hate
those who offend you, what difference is there
between you and a heathen ? Why then do you
call yourself a Christian ? Reflect seriously on this
truth, and be assured that Jesus Christ will treat
you in the same manner He will refuse to you
what you deny to your brother. If you refuse to
speak to him, or to look at him ; if you refuse to
offer him your hand in the same manner shall you
to a certainty be treated by your Lord. You will
hear no consoling word from His lips, nor will He
vouchsafe to cast upon you one glance of com
passion. Forgive then, O Christian, if you would
be forgiven by Jesus.
O Eternal Father, since Thou wilt pardon the
innumerable sins I have committed against Thy
- 5 6-
Divine Majesty, I do forgive all my enemies, not only
once, but a thousand times for love of Thy most
holy Son. Pardon me, O Lord, I knew not what
I did when I offended Thee ; and if, on account
of my ingratitude, I do not deserve to be heard,
Thy most precious Son has merited forgiveness in
my stead. Through His Blood and agony I
therefore crave Thy pardon ; forgive me, Lord,
I knew not what I did.
Mercy ! O God of pity ! for the sake of Thy
beloved Son Jesus.
Here all kneel down and meditate on the First Word
of Jesus on the Cross. In the meantime the following words
may be sung, or some other music played.
I confess, O Jesus, that I was once Thy enemy
but intercede for me and I shall surely obtain pardon.
When I was wayward I offended Thee, but I knew
not what I did. Sweetest Jesus of my soul, pray to
Thy Father for me. 1
1 Pues que fui vuestro enemigo,
Mi Jesus, como confieso,
Rogad por mi, que con eso
Seguro el perdon consigo.
Cuando loco te ofendi,
No supe lo que me hacia ;
Buen Jesus del alma mia,
Rogad al Padre por mi.
In thanksgiving for the pardon our Lord asked for us,
recite five times, or oftener, what follows :
Be Thou praised and blessed for ever, O cruci
fied Lord, for the pardon of our sins which Thou
hast obtained for us.
Make the following Acts :
I believe in God : I hope in God : I love
God above all things : I am grieved for having
offended Him, because He is the Almighty and
all-gracious God. I firmly purpose not to offend
Him any more.
O Mary ! admirable Mother ! the Advocate of
sinners, obtain for me, I beseech thee, through
Jesus crucified, the pardon of my sins, and grace
never more to offend Him.
THE SECOND WORD,
Addressed by our Lord to the Good Thief.
THIS DAY SHALT THOU BE WITH ME IN
Consider, O devout soul, Jesus between two
sinners ; one repentant, the other hardened ; one
yielding to grace, the other defiant ; one saving
his soul, the other losing it.
O profound mystery of predestination ! O de
plorable heedlessness of mankind ! My soul, who
hearest the difference between these two inscru
table destinies, examine thyself well : observe by
the state of thy conscience, on which side thou art :
wilt thou save thyself with the good thief, or damn
thyself with the bad one? How many are there
here present who will be companions with the bad
thief in Hell ? O dreadful and appalling thought !
O man, how happens it that thou livest so
negligently; or that thou, O woman, art so
indifferent, in a matter so doubtful and uncertain ?
Which of the thieves do you envy most; the
wicked rebellious thief, or the penitent and humble
one? If the latter, why do you not imitate his
humility? why do you remain on the cross of
your vices with so much obstinacy? A sinner,
and proud ! Depart from me, thou bad thief.
A sinner, but a humble one : Ah ! there is mercy
for thee. As the bad thief revolts against Jesus,
denies and insults Him, as if He had unjustly
made Himself God, so all blasphemers aggravate
their awful sin of blasphemy by insult and con
tempt. Not so the good thief: enlightened by
the Divine light of Jesus, he acknowledges Him
for his God, and adores Him. O my God, how
potent is Thy light ! Who can steel himself
against Thy appeal? Christians, render not useless
those tender invitations of thy Saviour. Open
your hearts to them, and let them sink deep.
The happy thief turns towards Jesus, and with a
plaintive voice says, Lord, I place my whole trust
in Thee : in Thee alone I hope : O Lord, my God
and my Redeemer, remember me when Thou comest
into Thy Kingdom. O blessed sinner ! Who told
thee, criminal, that this crucified Man is thy God
and thy Redeemer ? Stand confounded, ye judges,
with shame and confusion, to hear a thief confess
Jesus Christ on the Cross, whilst you so obstinately
deny Him notwithstanding all His miracles. How
many Christians there are who confess Him with
their lips, whilst they deny Him by their works !
What sort of a confession of Christ dost thou
make, O man, that art the victim of thy passions,
or thou, woman, lost to shame and modesty ? So
far from being firm in your confession unto death
like the good thief, you have scarcely made it
before you fall back into your vices and iniquities.
What sort of a confession is this? Does your
conduct resemble that of the good or the bad
thief? of the penitent or the reprobate?
No sooner had Jesus Christ heard the voice of
the thief, who acknowledged Him for his Lord,
imploring pardon for the past, than He instantly
granted his request, absolved him from his
sins, and remitted all the punishment he had
merited. This day, said He, thou shalt be with
Me in Paradise. Yes, this day this Friday of
My sorrows. O great day ! is there any one here
present who will not make profit of this hour?
O happy sinner ! blessed penitent ! you find your
self by the side of your Redeemer on this great
day, when He holds the key of Heaven in His
hand, and throws the door of salvation open to all
poor sinners. To-day, Christians, there remain
no more days of sorrow for man ; Jesus has taken
them all upon Himself. To-day pain is at an end,
for Jesus has drained the chalice of pain to the
dregs. To-day there is no more danger of Hell
for those who repent, since Jesus by His torments
has taken Hell for His own portion. To-day,
Paradise is opened to repenting sinners. To-day
all is mercy all is glory. Come then, O sinners !
however enormous your crimes may be, come
and enjoy this propitious time; it will cost you
little only a word of sorrow, a look, or a sigh
from a penitent heart. Is it possible that on such
a day as this, you can remain obdurate ? O most
merciful Jesus ! at what other time can I find
Thee more liberal, more generous, or more ready
to bestow Thy manifold gifts. O most lovable
Heart, overwhelmed with love and solicitude for
the salvation of sinners, communicate Thy pity to
the world ; inflame all hearts with the fire of Thy
love, in order that the whole universe may be
converted to Thee. Behold, O great God ! how
Hell is filling every day, not only with Jews,
Heretics and Infidels, but even with Christians.
What a heartrending thought ! even this very
day, O my Saviour, how many souls will be
lost ! What a dreadful thought, that Thy Blood
should be shed for so many souls in vain.
Have pity, O Lord, have pity on Christians.
Look favourably on Thy flock. Suffer not the
devil to boast of so many triumphs. Let all be
saved this day, on which Thou so liberally offerest
pardon to all. Let all be saved, O Lord ! and,
repenting with the good thief, may we all confess
Thee to be our God and our Redeemer. May we
all sincerely deplore our past sins \ may we firmly
purpose to amend our lives, and make a sincere
confession of our wrong-doing. For this end,
O Lord, grant us a sincere sorrow, that to-day
Thou mayest remember us in Thy Kingdom.
Here all kneel down and meditate on what has been read,
while the following words are sung :
Reverently, O Jesus, the Good Thief implores Thy
mercies. I likewise beseech Thee par don of my iniquities.
If to the repentant thief, Thou promisest a reward in
Heaven, may I not also, my Saviour, hope confidently
for the same. 1
Then repeat five times the prayer of the Good Thief.
Have pity on me, O Lord, and in Thy mercy
remember me when Thou comest into Thy
I believe in God. I hope, &c., as on page 57.
1 Reverente el buen Ladron
Imploro vuestras piedades ;
Yo tambien de mis maldades
Os pido, Seilor, perdon.
Si al Ladron arrepentido
Dais lugar alia en ei Cielo,
Ya yo tambien sin recelo
La gloria, mi Dueno, os pido.
-6 3 -
THE THIRD WORD,
Addressed by our Lord to His most Holy Mother.
WOMAN, BEHOLD THY SON : SON, BEHOLD
Our Lord, from the height of His Cross, is
looking down upon His blessed Mother, whose
heart is sunk in an abyss of anguish, and yet He
opens before her a new abyss of anguish by giving
her all mankind to be her children in the person
of St. John.
O most afflicted Mother ! what a piercing sword
must it not be, that thus so deeply wounds thy
tender heart? Thy Son Jesus commends all
sinners to thee, that thou mayest receive them for
thy children in His place. O heartrending
exchange ! thou losest thy most amiable Son
Jesus, and in His stead receivest sinners, nay,
even such perverse and obstinate sinners, as have
repeatedly crucified Him by their sins. O most
sorrowful Lady, what a torment to thy tender
heart, already deeply wounded without this new
stab. What ! so ungrateful a wretch committed to
thy care ! so grievous a sinner to be adopted for
-6 4 -
thy child ! O infinite charity of our Saviour towards
sinners, in confiding them to His own blessed
Mother to be their Mother also. O incomparable
mercy of the compassionate Mother of Jesus ! who,
full of love and gentleness, presses the whole world
to her bosom, with all tender solicitude and
maternal affection. O Refuge of Sinners, how
shall we express our gratitude for so great, so
heroic an act, by which thou hast vouchsafed to
accept us for thy children? By what obedience,
by what services, can we render ourselves worthy
of so great a favour? O happy sinners! reflect
with joy on the eminent dignity of Mary, your
Mother. Mary, who is the Mother of God : a
Mother, full of grace ; a Mother, the mirror of
sanctity and purity, and this Mother your Mother
also. Alas ! what a contrast between so holy a
Mother and such perverse children : between a
Mother so pure and children so corrupt. O great
Queen of Heaven, take us now under thy protection,
and make us children worthy of thee. Where is the
Christian, who with the greatest submission and
confidence ought not to acknowledge thee for his
Mother. Hell trembled at hearing the words
of Jesus : the devils raged with envy. Hearken,
O man ! listen, O Hell ! Mary is the Mother of
sinners, the Mother of the just, the Mother of
all. O blessed Lady, I kiss thy sacred feet a
thousand times, and exclaim with a voice that I
wish might echo through heaven and earth,
However unworthy I am to be called the child of
Mary, yet, O great Queen, obtain that I may one
day behold thee, and love thy Son Jesus, as much, if
possible, as thou thyself lovest Him. O devout
souls, look up to Jesus who gives you to His
Mother s care, and, in her, bestows on you all the
riches of His mercy, which you will never obtain
without the intercession of Mary. Through her
we obtain pardon from her Son, together with all
His precious graces. O Jesus, inexhaustible
fountain of love and generosity, what a boundless
love must have been Thine to love us with so
much tenderness. Since Jesus, O my soul, has
said to thee, Ecce Mater, Behold thy Mother !
surely thou art bound to contemplate her, to medi
tate on her graces with all thy powers and faculties.
Consider her well, O my soul, lift up thine eyes,
raise thy whole heart to her ; for she also says
to thee, Ecce Mater. I am your Mother, consider
me as such. Behold her oppressed with grief on
account of your sins. Sympathize with her in the
sorrow she feels for you. She prays for you : she
implores mercy and pardon for you. Beseech her
by her sorrows to look upon you as her child, and
to obtain for you all necessary help, now, and at
the awful hour of death. O Mother of God, prove
thyself my Mother also. Ah ! turn those merciful
eyes of thine upon me, beloved Mother. Remember
the inexpressible anguish which we cost thee at
the foot of the Cross. Let not the excessive grief
thou didst then suffer be all in vain. May thy
sorrows and thy holy patronage prove a powerful
assistance to me in my last agony. To-day,
O amiable Mother ! on this day I would fain
show myself thy child, even were I to lay down
my life in love and sorrow at the foot of the
Cross here. Welcome, O happy death ! Would
that I might die at the feet of Mary my
Mother, and at the feet of Jesus so full of love
Here all kneel and meditate, &c.
Jesus in His last moments gives us to-day to His
Virgin Mother. O Mary, who can understand what
thou then must have suffered ? accept me for thy child
and be to me a Mother, as I now promise thee loyal
Jesus en su testamento
A la Virgen hoy nos da :
Oh Maria ! Quien podra
Explicar tu sentimiento ?
Hijo vuestro quiero ser :
Sed vos mi Madre, Senora,
Que os prometo desde ahora
-6 7 -
In thanksgiving to Jesus for having given us Mary for our
Mother, let us recite five times the following prayer :
Most sweet Jesus, we return Thee infinite thanks
for having given Thy blessed Mother, Mary,
to be our Mother also.
Afterwards address yourself to her :
sorrowful Mary, our Mother, pray for thy
sinful children now, and at the hour of our death.
1 believe in God, &c., as on page 57.
THE FOURTH WORD,
Uttered by our Lord on the Cross.
MY GOD! MY GOI)! WHY HAST THOU
FORSAKEN ME ?
After our Saviour had fulfilled in every point all
that belonged to the office of Redeemer of the
world, after He had besought pardon for sinners,
and chosen Mary His own Mother for the Mother
of us all, He began to feel in the interior of His
holy Soul, the greatest pains and desolations, even
the agony and pangs of death. Weakened as He
was, and exhausted by loss of blood, the ingratitude
of mankind took strong possession of His mind.
He saw, on the one hand, the crimes of the
wicked, together with the pusillanimity of the
good ; and, on the other, the infinite love of His
Father to man, His favourite creature; the stub
born obstinacy of infidels ; the forgetfulness of His
mercies ; the contempt of His holy Passion, the
number of souls who would be lost eternally, and
the little profit mankind would derive from all
His sufferings. He saw, moreover, the sorrows of
His Holy Mother, the timidity of His disconsolate
-6 9 -
disciples, and the cruel persecutions which His im
maculate Spouse, the Holy Catholic Church, would
hereafter undergo. To all these afflicting thoughts
were added His bodily pains and torments. His
sacred Head pierced with thorns, the sharp points
entering His temples ; His merciful eyes half-
closed by blood and dust ; His shoulders lacerated
by stripes, His chest oppressed, and His feet and
hands transpierced by heavy nails. In truth, O my
Saviour, Thy sorrows are as infinite as Thy
patience ! In this state He prays to His Heavenly
Father for the salvation of the whole world ; but
foreseeing that His Passion and Death would avail
nothing to an infinite number of men, who, through
their own fault, would lose their souls for ever, He
entered upon His agony, and the depth of His
sorrow increased every moment as He realized
more and more that His Heavenly Father allowed
Him to suffer without any consolation. Finding
Himself thus abandoned, even by His Father,
and sinking under the load of sins which crushed
Him with their weight, He at length fell into so
great, so sensible, so bitter a dereliction, and so
cruel an anguish of soul, that He could not refrain
from expostulating with His Eternal Father in
these terms of reproach : My God ! My God I why
hast Thou forsaken Me? O most lovable Saviour,
the cause of Thy desolation was none other than
my sins. Contemplate then, O my erring soul,
the terrible dereliction which the Son of God
suffered on account of thy wilfulness. Tremble
lest God should abandon thee also, and being
abandoned by Him, whither canst thou fly for
refuge ? Why, O my soul, art thou so perverse ?
Ut quid dereliquisti me ? Why hast Thou forsaken
me ? Ah ! why ? Answer thy Saviour, who
asks thee as He hangs in agony on His Cross :
Why wilt thou lose thy soul ? why wilt thou render
the Blood I have shed for thy redemption of no
avail ? Ah ! why ? For things that are in them
selves so vile ? for a moment of degrading pleasure,
a fleeting interest which fades into thin air, and
vanishes in disappointment? Ut quid? answer
Him then. O my soul ! melt into tears and
sorrow. O my Jesus! Ut quid? Why do I
persist in wrecking my soul, when I behold Thee
nailed to the Cross in order to save it? shall 1 damn
myself whilst Thou art shedding Thy Precious
Blood for me? shall I so shamefully abuse Thy
mercy? No, my Saviour, it shall never be. My
tears bespeak my sorrow and repentance : abandon
me not, O my Jesus, I beseech Thee by Thy
Here all kneel and meditate, &c.
The beloved Son of God sees Himself abandoned by
His Eternal Father. A h ! cursed be my sins that
were the cause of this. Whoever wishes to console
Jesus in His terrible sorrow, let him sincerely say :
My God, forgive me, I wish to sin no more. 1
That our Lord may never abandon us, recite five times
what follows :
Most sweet Jesus ! by Thy most holy derelic
tion, abandon us not, neither during our lives, nor
at our death.
Then to our Lady :
Mary, Mother of grace, Mother of mercy,
protect us now and at the hour of our death.
I believe in God, &c., as on page 57.
1 Desamparado se ve
De su Padre el Hijo amado ;
Ah ! maldito mi pecado,
Que de esto la causa fue.
Quien quisiera consolar
A Jesus en su dolor,
Diga de veras : Sefior,
Me pesa, no mas pecar.
THE FIFTH WORD,
Uttered by our Lord on the Cross.
Can any one fail to understand the causes
which aggravated the thirst of our most sweet
Saviour in that hour of anguish ? His tongue, the
instrument of so many marvels, cleaved to the
roof of His mouth ; His loving lips were parched
by the bitterness of His tortures ; the moisture of
His body had been drained from Him through
all His wounds and through His sweat of blood.
Indescribable, therefore, was the thirst which
tormented Him with ever-increasing agony ; until
at last, in hoarse but plaintive tones, He uttered
the word, / thirst. O most sweet Lord, what
kind of thirst is it that torments Thee ? what else
but an insatiable thirst for our salvation ; a
thirst far greater than the bodily thirst which
Thou endurest, an ardent and inflamed thirst for
the salvation of souls ; a thirst which can only
be quenched by the tears of converted sinners.
As if He had said : In the midst of the torment and
agony in which you now behold Me, there remains
no other consolation for me but the sighs and tears of
penitent souls. Weep then, O lovers of Jesus !
lament and bewail your sins. He thirsts ! He
hangs in His death agony ! oh, ye fountains,
streams, and rivers, give tears to my eyes to enable me
to assuage the thirst of my agonizing Saviour. Ah !
who is he, who will not henceforth shudder at the
very thought of committing one mortal sin which
occasions so much pain to our suffering Lord?
He thirsts for the salvation of souls, for the
extermination of sin. I thirst, O my Saviour, who
will give Thee refreshment ? who will bring back a
wandering sheep to Thee ? I will, O Lord. Since
the thirst that torments Thee is a thirst for souls,
I will seek for sinners ; I will endeavour to lead
them home. I will teach Thy ways to the
weak and ignorant ; I will exhort sinners both by
word and example; that many may be con
verted to Thee. / thirst. O my Saviour, from
whence proceeds this thirst? From a still more
vehement degree of love. Remember, O Lord,
that Thou wilt have legions of Virgins, Martyrs,
and Confessors, who will die for most fervent
love of Thee. Mary, Thy Mother, dies for
love of Thee ; Thy dear Magdalen, Thy spouses
Catharine, Teresa, Ludgarde, and innumerable
others, die also for love of Thee. Sitio I thirst.
Love never says, // is enough. O Christians !
we must die with Jesus, who bears so ardent
a thirst for our salvation : we must die to the
world, which bears so little love towards Him.
Sitio I thirst, that the whole world should be
converted \ O my God, Thy Apostles will convert
whole kingdoms and millions of souls to Thee.
I thirst I desire still more. The great St. Dominic,
St. Francis, and many other zealous Saints,
O Lord, will win souls to Thee by their miracles
and preaching, even from the remotest parts of the
earth. Sitio I thirst. The renowned St. Ignatius
and his Society, will bring back to Thee numbers
of heretics, infidels, and sinners ; and his sons
will carry the fire of Thy love into distant
nations ; and the illustrious Xavier will convert
a new world to Thee. Sitio I thirst for still
more. O obdurate sinners ! reflect on the vehe
ment thirst which your adorable Redeemer feels
for your salvation, and the little anxiety it causes
you. Is it possible that you can still thirst after
the riches, vanities, and pleasures of the world,
which cause you to run on so rapidly to your
destruction ? Oh, sin no more, since you behold
Jesus so ardently desirous of your salvation. Let
your tears now wash away the stains of your sin;
to what other purpose would you reserve them?
Bewail them then with your tears, and you will
thus quench His thirst. O my Saviour, who can
quench it, since love never says, It is enough.
Be Thou Thyself, then, the assuager of Thy thirst
in communicating to us an ardent desire rather to
suffer death than offend Thee. Let us die then,
O Christian souls, of love, and endeavour to lessen
the thirst of Jesus with the tears of repentance,
sorrow, and contrition.
Here all kneel and meditate, &c.
Jesus Christ says He is thirsty, and if thou
wishest, O Christian soul, to assuage the thirst which
is consuming Him, give Him some of thy tears to
comfort Him. The gall which the Centurion offers
Him He will not drink of; how then canst thon
expect our Saviour to drink the bitterness of thy sins ? r
Here, to alleviate the thirst of Jesus, give Him your heart,
saying five times :
My most sweet Jesus feels the pain of thirst :
I give Him my heart.
I believe in God, &c., as on page 57.
1 Sed dice Cristo que tiene ;
Mas si quieres mitigar
La sed que le llega a ahogar,
Darle lagrimas conviene.
La hiei que brinda un ministro
Si la gusta, no la bebe :
Como quieres tu que pruebe
La hiel de tu culpa Cristo ?
- 7 6-
THE SIXTH WORD,
Uttered by our Lord on the Cross.
IT IS CONSUMMATED.
The prophecies of the Old Testament, and the
sovereign decrees of God, are now accomplished :
the immense debt of sinners is cancelled ; the just
have obtained salvation at a price proportionate to
its value; a covenant is concluded between God
and man ; the tyranny of the devil is overthrown ;
the triumph of glory begins. And now our ador
able Saviour, after having terminated His mission as
Redeemer of the world, has reached the extremity
of His agony ; He is now at the gates of death,
and offers His sweet life for sinners. Enter, O my
soul! enter into His blessed Heart, and from
thence behold all the prayers which will be made
to His Eternal Father, even to the end of the
world. He accepts them, makes them His own ;
it is through His Passion and Death that
all these prayers have received that favourable
answer which is already given ; all the sover
eign decrees which regard this world as long as it
shall endure, are here determined ; it is owing
to His Death that all the vacant thrones in Heaven
will one day be re-filled.
Consider that this Sovereign Lord, by His
omniscience, now beholds all your temptations
and combats : He foresees your secret falls,
your hidden thoughts, all the events of your
life, and the many dangers to which you will be
exposed of losing your soul. Consider how He
applies the merits of His Death and Passion
to your soul, as if you alone were the only
object of His love. Return Him thanks for what He
has suffered in particular for you. And now Jesus,
resolving on the accomplishment of His sublime
designs, paused, as it were, to consider whether
anything more remained to be done or suffered
for sinners. Quid ultra debui facere et non fed?
what more could I do for sinners than I have
done ? what yet remains for Me to do ? Nothing,
O Redeemer of my soul, nothing remains. Thou
hast exhausted all Thy charity, and Thou hast done
all that Thou couldst do or suffer for our sakes.
So then our Blessed Saviour, considering that
nothing further remained for Him to do, either in
obedience to the will of His Father, or in reparation
for the sins of the world, raising His voice cried
out, Consummatum esf, It is consummated. His
Eternal Father grants Him now the salvation of
those great sinners, whose penitential lives and
heroic deeds are recorded in ecclesiastical history
and in the Lives of the Saints. It is at this
moment that He bequeaths power to His
apostles, fortitude to martyrs, purity to virgins,
and courage to confessors and penitents. It is now
that He beholds the field of His Church enriched
by a plenteous harvest of the just : His temples
erected, His religion established, idols over
turned, and the glorious standard of His Cross
triumphantly displayed throughout the world. This
is the hour when He looks out upon the vast
multitudes of souls, even among the most barbarous
nations, who will be enlightened by His Cross and
obtain salvation. Nothing more could be done
which has been left undone. All is consummated*
Oh, mayest Thou be for ever praised, blessed
Redeemer of my soul, for Thy immense love and
charity towards sinful man. Oh ! let me make
Thee some return for all that Thou hast accom
plished. Grant, O Lord, through the effusion of
Thy most Precious Blood, that I too may one day
say with the most sincere compunction, // is
consummated. I have ceased to offend Thee ; my
scandals and my iniquities are at an end, Con-
summatum est: for love of Thee my criminal
course of life is for ever terminated.
Consider, O Christians, what passes at this
moment in the Heart of Jesus Christ : Oh,
what fire ! what love ! what tenderness ! Behold,
now is the time you may obtain all the graces
of Divine love, now, when Jesus tells you, it
is consummated, all is accomplished, nothing
more remains for me to do. Whither do my
affections carry me ? already has the fire seized
my heart : the love of Jesus burns within me :
O inexpressible joy ! Ah ! ye stony hearts ! come,
approach to the Heart of Jesus. O ye tepid
hearts ! O obdurate sinners ! all is consummated:
the fire of Divine charity has attained its greatest
intensity in the Heart of Jesus ; cast yourselves
into it; oh, may it inflame you still more and
more with His love. Amen. O my Saviour ! may
my heart be broken with sorrow, and inflamed
with Thy love.
Here all kneel and meditate, &c.
With a broken, exhausted voice, our Saviour tells
us that His Passion has paid the price of sin. Jesus
is about to breathe His last and expire ; where is the
Christian soul who would not die of sorrow ? l
1 Con voz quebrada tu Dios
Habla ya muy desmayado,
Y dice, que del pecado
La redencion consume.
Ya Jesus se ve espirar ;
Ya Jesus se ve morir,
Quien, pues, no llega a rendir
La vida con el pesar ?
In thanksgiving for the work of our Redemption, recite
five times the following Act :
I thank Thee, O Lord, from the bottom of my
heart, for having accomplished the great work of
our redemption. Grant, O my Saviour, that it
may avail to my salvation.
I believe in God, &c., as on page 57.
THE SEVENTH WORD,
Uttered by our Saviour on the Cross.
FATHER, INTO THY HANDS I COMMEND
In this last word, our most loving Redeemer
gave us the ultimate proof of His love, by
teaching us what is of supreme importance at
the moment of death ; that is, that we should
commit ourselves with unreserved and humble
confidence into the hands of God, as into those
of a most tender and affectionate Father. It is
Jesus Christ who teaches us how to die. Let us
learn then, Christians, from the death of our
Saviour, what death is. Oh, what an awful passage
it must be \ look only at the effect it produces on
a Man-God : His Sacred Humanity is changed
beyond recognition His face grows pale, His lips
livid, His whole body trembles with anguish and
exhaustion. Even that loud cry with which He
surrendered His Soul to His Eternal Father was
wrung from Him with many tears. Cum clamore
valido et lacrymis. If a Man-God dies in this
manner, O man, how can you think on death
with such indifference ? You are mortal : you
know you must die, and yet you lead a careless
and dissipated life : you appear not to be the least
concerned about it, nor to bestow even a serious
thought on so terrible a moment. Christians !
would you know what death is, consider it in
Jesus. Look upon His agony, His struggles, His
exhaustion. Is it possible that any one could defer
his preparation for so dreadful a conflict to a time
of so much bitterness and sorrow ; or postpone
so serious and arduous an undertaking^ as the
affair of eternal salvation, to the hour of death,
an hour so full of pain and anguish ? Ah ! who
can form a just conception of what passed in
the mind of our dear Saviour at the prospect of
His approaching dissolution ? The conflict that
passed in His Soul at the thought of its separation
from His immaculate Body, formed out of the
pure flesh of Mary His Virgin Mother, must
necessarily have been so violent, as to shake the
whole frame of His Sacred Humanity. O powerful
stroke of death, that could even make a Man-God
tremble ! May Thy sacred name be for ever exalted
and praised, O merciful Jesus ! for having volun
tarily permitted Thyself to suffer so bitter an
agony, in order to teach me to support mine with
patience and resignation to the Divine will of Thy
Heavenly Father : and for having suffered all the
- 8 3 -
terrors of death, in order to render my death more
peaceful and easy.
Our suffering Redeemer, seeing Himself on the
point of expiring, exclaimed : Father^ into Thy
hands I commend My spirit ; whereby He gave
us to understand that it was by His own free
choice He accepted death, and to teach us the
most sublime and safe method to die. Father^
into Thy hands / commend My spirit. Oh, what
a heavenly ! what a Divine lesson ! Christ
Jesus, by recommending His spirit into the hands
of His Eternal Father, pays Him, not only the
greatest act of honour and glory, but also testi
fies the immensity of His love, the height of His
confidence, the depth of His humility, and abso
lute submission, without the least reserve, to the
will of an Almighty Father, ever faithful, just and
holy, who never forsakes those who place their con
fidence in Him, who is the infallible refuge of
mercy and salvation, and who promises eternal
beatitude to every soul that surrenders itself into
His hands. It is by this sublime lesson from His
Cross, that Jesus Christ teaches us how we should
O Eternal Father, ever just and holy, in union
with the sacred spirit of Thy most lovable Son
Jesus, and in imitation of Him, I also deliver my
soul into Thy merciful hands : receive it then,
-8 4 -
Lord, and keep it for ever. Behold the
innumerable dangers of offending Thee, where
with I am encompassed on all sides. Look on
my combats and temptations, and preserve me
from falling. Never suffer me, most merciful
Father, to yield to the enemy, since I have, with
Thy Son Jesus, surrendered my soul into Thy
hands, not only at the hour of my death, but also
during the remainder of my life. Have pity on
me, Lord ; into Thy hands I commend my spirit,
with all that I am and all that I possess.
Then all kneel down and meditate as before, during which
time these words may be sung :
To His Eternal Father His soul is now surrendered,
but thou, if thou amend not thy life, into whose hands
wilt thou fall ? O my Jesus, from this moment
1 place my soul in Thy keeping. Do not look upon
me coldly in that fatal hour. 1
1 A su Eterno Padre ya
Su espiritu le encomienda
Si tu vida no se enmienda :
En que manos parara ?
En las tuyas desde ahora
Mi alma entrego, Jesus mio ;
No me mires con desvio
En aquella fatal hora.
-8 5 -
The following is then read to excite sentiments of love and
sorrow upon what occurred at the Death of our Lord :
Jesus our Redeemer, having commended His
Soul into the hands of His Eternal Father, and
seeing that the hour of His death was fast
approaching, wished to let the whole world know
that He died voluntarily for the love of man and
in obedience to the will of His Heavenly Father.
For that reason, before He breathed His last, He
bent His Sacred Head upon His breast, not con
strained thereto by the stroke of death, but only
by the weight of His love. O incomprehensible
mystery ! by this inclination of His Head Jesus
testified His obedience to His Eternal Father, His
goodness to man, His poverty and His humility.
It was, in the first place, the excessive weight of
our sins that caused His Head to bend in death.
Again, He bowed His Head to take His last
farewell of an ungrateful world, and breathe into it,
as He had done at its creation, the breath of a
new life. He inclined His Head also towards the
earth, in order to invite sinners, by this signal of
His love, to His tender caresses. Finally, His Head
was bent that His last and most tender look might
be directed towards His beloved Mother Mary,
who remained at the foot of the Cross, pierced
with sorrow, in order to show her how much He
reverenced her, and to give her His last sigh,
as if it were to teach us how much it behoves
us to direct the last sigh of our lives to God,
under the sweet guidance of Mary. O Divine
Master of my life, may Thy infinite charity be for
ever praised for the heavenly lessons Thou hast
taught us from the Cross.
Our Divine Redeemer having bowed down His
sacred Head, nothing further remained to be done
than to give up His Spirit to. His Heavenly Father.
Here the awful change commenced ; His sacred
Body shuddered in separating itself from His most
holy Soul. Already Death had begun to execute
his office by robbing the most beautiful of all
countenances of its natural complexion. Now a
film settled upon the eyes ; now the nostrils grew
pinched ; now the lips became livid ; now the
cheeks began to fall in ; now His bosom heaved,
and He could no longer draw His breath. The
inanimate creation, perceiving its Creator expiring,
expressed the poignancy of its anguish by terrible
portents. The sun was darkened ; the moon grew
red as blood ; the heavens were clouded over, the
earth groaned and trembled, the rocks were rent,
the whole world shuddered in horror. Stay,
O Jesus ! stay yet a little while, and I will die
with Thee and for Thee. Let us die together,
O Lord ; if Thou diest for love of me, let me
also die for love of Thee. I do not wish to
live any longer, O my God, for fear of offend
ing Thee, and, by my sins, crucifying Thee
Alas ! beloved Jesus, the hour brooks no delay.
I see that heaven and earth are anxiously expecting
Thy blessed Death : Thy Heavenly Father is waiting
with open arms to receive Thy Spirit ; the Angels
long to hail Thy victory with repeated Alleluias ;
the holy Patriarchs in Limbo await Thy coming, to
release them from prison, and conduct them to the
mansions of never-ending happiness ; the just
are eager to render Thee eternal thanks for the
never-fading crown of glory Thou hast purchased
for them ; sinners long for it, that by sincere con
trition for their past sins, and a firm purpose of
amending their lives, they may escape the wrath to
come, and obtain eternal salvation ; and all
mankind are waiting in anxious expectation, so
that they may be delivered from the fetters of sin.
Our Saviour, considering how ardently the world
looks for His Death, yields at length to its desire,
and full of affection and tenderness for sinners,
delivers up His Soul into the hands of His Eternal
Father : yes, He offers up His Life and His
Blood as a universal remedy for the sins of all
mankind. O most sweet Jesus ! it must be time to
die, since such is Thy will. Die then, O Redeemer
of my soul, and when, after Thy departure hence,
Thou goest to Thy Father, beseech Him that we
may never be separated from Thee; but that
through the merits of Thy Precious Passion
and Death, we may live and die in Thy grace
and in Thy love. He can refuse Thee nothing,
dear Jesus ! Thou must be heard for Thy reverence
in behalf of those whom Thou hast redeemed, and
who are all so dear to Thy Heart.
O incomprehensible Majesty ! most high God !
Thou alone, O Lord of glory, Thou alone canst
fully comprehend and justly appreciate the Death
of our Saviour Jesus. Man, insensible man, hears
it, and yet remains blind, deaf, and dumb : he
beholds his God expire without being moved either
to sighs or tears. He forgets that his God has
suffered an ignominious Death on the Cross, in
order that he might live eternally. How terrible
a responsibility is this ! O holy Friday ! O Three
Hours of agony ! Awake, senseless mortals ! open
the eyes of your faith ; see, your God is expiring
for love of you, and yet no one is found who dies
of love and sorrow for Him. Wo to us sinners !
He dies, and no one dies with grief for having
offended Him. We stand before Thy face, O God,
and are not ashamed. O rocks, lend us your
sensibility, that we may this day tremble and die
with love and sorrow for our Redeemer Jesus.
-8 9 -
Let us long to die with Jesus, Christian souls,
long to die of love and sorrow for having offended
As the third hour draws near its close the Credo is sung,
in such wise that the words Crticifixus et mortuus est may
be reached as the clock strikes ; and thereupon each one
present should make a fervent Act of Contrition.
The following words may also be sung :
Now is my Redeemer dead, my beloved Father is
no more. My God, my Father, my Love, has died
nailed to a Cross. Alas ! Ah ! Woe is me ! Burst,
O my heart, with compassion : it was for thee that
Jesus died. 1
1 Ya murio mi Redentor,
Ya murio mi Padre amado,
Ya murio en la cruz clavado
Mi Dios, mi Padre, mi amor.
Ay ! Ay ! Ay ! Triste de mi !
Ay ! Ay ! Ay ! Mi corazon,
Rompete de compasion,
Que Jesus murio por ti.
Should any time remain before the three hours are
completed, the following prayers are recited, otherwise they
may be omitted.
SALUTATIONS addressed to the Five Sacred
Wounds of JESUS CHRIST.
I. To the Sacred Wound in the Left Foot.
O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore the Sacred Wound
in Thy Left Foot, and I return Thee heartfelt
thanks for so much pain : grant me, I beseech
Thee, by this pain, and by the suffering it caused
Thy afflicted Mother, the pardon of all the sins I
have committed against Thee by my sinful steps.
Our Father, &c. Glory be to the Father ; &c.
II. To the Sacred Wound in the Right Foot.
O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore the Sacred Wound
in Thy Right Foot, and I return Thee heartfelt
thanks for so much pain : grant me, I beseech
Thee, by this pain, and by the suffering it caused
Thy afflicted Mother, a firm hope, together with
the pardon of all the sins I have committed against
Thee by my words and actions.
Our Father, &c. Glory be to the Father, 6%
III. To the Sacred Wound in the Left Hand.
O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore the Sacred Wound
in Thy Left Hand, and I return Thee heartfelt
thanks for so much pain : grant me, I beseech
Thee, by this pain, and by the suffering it caused
Thy afflicted Mother, an ardent charity, together
with the pardon of all the sins I have committed
against Thee by my sight and my other senses.
Our Father, &c. Glory be to the Father, &c.
IV. To the Sacred Wound in the Right Hand.
O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore the Sacred Wound
in Thy Right Hand, and I return Thee heartfelt
thanks for so much pain : grant me, I beseech
Thee, by this pain, and by the suffering it caused
Thy afflicted Mother, the grace of true contrition
for my sins, and pardon for all the offences 1 4 may
have committed against Thee by the abuse of my
will, memory, and understanding.
Our Father, &c. Glory be to the Father, &c.
V. To the Sacred Wound in the Side of our Saviour.
O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore the Sacred Wound
in Thy Sacred Side, and I return Thee heartfelt
thanks for so much pain : and as Thy most Sacred
Heart was pierced by a sharp-pointed lance, and
that of Thy afflicted Mother with the sword of
grief, grant that mine may be so deeply penetrated
by the arrows of Thy love, as cheerfully to suffer
the most cruel death rather than ever offend Thee
by the commission of one mortal sin.
Our Father, &c. Glory be to the Father, &c.
Let us say three Hail Marys and one Glory be to the
Father, to our Blessed Mother Mary, in reverence for all
she suffered during these Three Hours.
A PRAYER TO OUR LADY.
O most dolorous Mother ! by the many bitter
afflictions Thou must necessarily have suffered at
the foot of the Cross during the three long hours
of agony of thy Divine Son Jesus, but more
especially at the moment of His sacred death,
engrave, I beseech thee, His wounds and thy
unspeakable grief upon my heart : assist me in
my last agony ; and, through thy powerful inter
cession at the throne of mercy, obtain for me a
" CONSUMMATUM EST."
ON OUR LORD S PASSION.
1. O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore Thee hanging
on the Cross, and wearing a crown of thorns.
I humbly pray Thee, that Thy blood may deliver
me from the destroying angel. Amen.
Then say, Our Father, &c., Hail Mary, &&lt;r.
2. O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore Thee wounded
on the Cross, and having gall and vinegar given
Thee to drink. I beseech Thee, that Thy wounds
may become the cure of my soul. Amen.
Our father, &&gt;<:.
3. O Lord Jesus Christ, I beseech Thee, through
the bitterness of the pains which Thou didst suffer
in the hour of death, and chiefly when Thy most
holy Soul parted from Thy blessed Body; have
mercy on my soul, at its quitting my body, and
bring it to eternal life. Amen.
Our Father, &c.
4- O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore Thee laid in
the Sepulchre, and embalmed with myrrh and
spices; grant, I beseech Thee, that Thy Death
may be my life. Amen.
Our Father, &c.
5. O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore Thee descend
ing into Hell, and delivering from thence Thy
captives : never permit, I beseech Thee, my soul
to go thither. Amen.
Our Father, &c.
6. O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore Thee rising
from the dead, and ascending into Heaven, and
sitting at the right hand of Thy Father ; grant, I
beseech Thee, that I may follow Thee thither, and
deserve to be presented to Him by Thee. Amen.
Our Father, 6^.
7. O Lord Jesus Christ, who art the Good
Shepherd ; preserve the just, justify sinners, have
mercy on all the faithful, and be propitious to me
a miserable and unworthy sinner. Amen.
Our Father, 6<r. Hail Mary, &c.
prater to tbe jftve TKHounfcs*
TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN.
Kiss the wound of the left hand of the Crucifix,
Jesu mine ! for love of Thee,
1 love what Thy Will giveth me,
WHATE ER it be.
Kiss the wound of the right hand, saying : .
Jesu mine ! for love of Thee,
1 love what Thy Will giveth me,
WHENE ER it be.
Kiss the wound of the left foot, and say :
Jesu mine ! for love of Thee,
1 love what Thy Will giveth me,
How MUCH it be.
Kiss the wound of the right foot, and say :
Jesu mine ! for love of Thee,
1 love what Thy Will giveth me,
How LONG it be.
Kiss the wound of the Sacred Heart, saying :
Jesus, my will is ever one with Thine,
For all things that befall me come from
All bring Thee glory, all bring good to
Therefore in weal or woe, Thy will is
Then press the Crucifix with tender love to
your heart, saying:
O Jesus ! sweetest Lord, I pray to Thee,
To grant me that which in Thy Heart
I see ;
Suffering, that my love may steadfast be,
And love, to suffer ever faithfully ;
Suffering, to bear all suffering for Thee,
Love, to despise all love for love of Thee.
BIBLIOGRAPHY, PRINCIPALLY FROM CANCELLIERI.
Ven. Bedse [?], De VII. Verbis Christi Oratio.
(Migne, P.L. vol. xciv. pp. 561, 562.)
Candidus, Monachus Fuldensis, De Passione
Domini. (Migne, P.L. vol. cvi. p. 92.)
S. Anselmus, Dialogits B. Marice et Anselmi de
Passione Domini. (Migne, P.L. vol. clix. p. 284.)
Henr. Ernulphi, Episc. Roffensis [?], Liber de
Verbis Domini in Cruce.
Arnoldus Carnotensis, Abbas Bonae Vallis, De
VII. Verbis Domini in Cruce ^ Antwerp, 1532, et
Paris, 1609. (Migne, P.L. vol. clxxxix. pp. 1677
S. Bernardi [?], Vitis Mystica (Migne, P.L.
vol. clxxxiv. p. 655.)
Franc. Titelmanni, Scholia in Arnoldum, De VII.
ultimis Verbis Christi. Antwerp, 1532.
Ant. de Guevarra, De Mysteriis Dominica
Passionis, ac de Verbis Christi in Cruce pendentis?
Salmant. 1542 et 1582.
Franc. Tubernici de Zichen, Liber in VII. Verba
Christi. Antwerp, 1556.
Vine. Ciconia, De Novissimis VII. Christi Verbis,
Ven. ap. Andr. Arrivabene, 1563.
J This treatise by Arnold of Chartres was falsely attributed
to St. Cyprian, and printed among his works.
- This book is better known as the Monte Calvario. An
English translation of it appeared in 1595, and again in 1618,
reprinted in part by Mr. Orby Shipley in 1868.
Gio. Batt. Domenichi, Sermoni sopra le parole,
che disse G. C. su le Croce, Ferrara per Bened.
Franc. Panigarola, Discorsi sopra le VII. parole
da Cristo dette in Croce. Milano, 1601.
H. Castela, Les Sept Flammes de r Amour sur les
Sept Paroles de Jesus Christ attache a la Croix.
Christ. Pelargi, Meditationes Passionales de VII.
Verbis Christi in Cruce. Frf. 1607.
Eliac. Cochleri, Heptalogus Christi. 1608.
Godfr. Kempens, Microcosmus reparatus, sive de
humani generis per Passionem J. C. reparatione, et
VII. in Cruce Verbis. Paris, et Colon. 1611.
Sam. Lange, VII. Verba Christi in Cruce. Lips.
1612 et 1651.
S. Bonaventurae, Tractatus de VII. Verbis Domini.
Martini Boemi, Tractatus de VII. Verbis Domini.
Joann. Affelmanni, Disputatio de VII. Christi
Verbis in Cruce. Rost. 1615.
Job. Frid. Stapels, Heptalogus Christi, sen VII.
folia semper-virentia. Vitemb. 1616.
Rob. Bellarmini, De VII. Verbis a Christo
in Cruce prolatis, lib. ii. Col. Agripp. 1618, 1626,
Christ. Danderstadii, Meditatio VII. Novissimorum
verborum Christi in Cruce. Lipsiae, 1625.
Petrus Diverus, De VII. extremis Verbis Christi
morientts, oraculis e Cruce editis. Antwerp, Plantin,
Job. Hoepnerus, De Descrtione J. C. in Cruet.
Job. Bottsacus, De Heptalogo Christi. Ged. 1642.
Sebast. Gotf. Stardens, Myrrheorosea Jesu in
Cruce pendentis labia. Franc. 1649.
Dcrnieres paroles de Jesus Christ en Croix, Poeme
Heroique. Paris de Serus, 1655.
Adam Spengleri, Heptalogus Christi. Vit. 1653.
Jo. Hermanni, Heptalogus in VII. Christi Verba.
Job. Frischmuth, De fiebili Messia in Cruce
pendentis gemitu Eli Eli, Jense, 1663, et in t. ii.
Thes. Philol. p. 240.
Steph. Klotzius, De Crudatibus Anima J. C. ac
de derelictione in Cruce. Hamb. et Frf. 1670.
Valent. Henr. Wolgleri, Phisiologia Passionis
Christi, ubi de Tristitia, Sudore, Spinea Corona,
Myrrhino Vino, Solis Obscuratione, Siti Christi, Aceto,
et Hysopo, Clamore, Morte, Terramotu, Sanguine,
d Aqua, Conditura Corporis. Helmst. 1670, 1673.
Sebast. Niermanus, De Christi derelicti querela
in Cruce. Jense, 1671.
Jo. Henr. Hummelii, Condones explicantes vocem
Christi in Cruce pendentis. Tiguri, 1673.
G. B. Grassettini, // Maestro Divino su la Cattedra
della Croce, doe Sermoni nove sopra le sett e parole di
Cristo in Croce. Roma, per Fil. M. Mancini, 1674.
Job. Frid. Scarfius, De Christi Crudfixi derelic
tione. Vit. 1677.
John Flavel, Sermons on the Seven Last Words.
De Tristi ac Memorabili Christi lamento, Deus,
Deus Meus, quare me dereliquisti. Witt. 1677.
Franc. Elgersma, Cygnea Cantio VII. Verborum
Christ. Locherwitz, De Luctuoso Christi in Cruce
pendentis lamento. Vit. 1680.
Job. Olearius, De Jesu Crucifixi derelictione ex
Psal. 22. Lips. 1683, 1685.
Joh. Teuschmannus, De Christi Crucifixi derelic
tione. Vit. 1695.
J. C. Dannahaver, De VII. Verbis Novissimis
Christi. Arg. 1697.
Lud. Winslovius, De Desertione Salvatoris.
J. F. Mayer, Ad I ll. Verba Morientis Jesu.
Gryph. 1706, 1709.
M. Screiberi, V indictee Verborum Christi, EH Eli.
M.T. Cruyer, Heptalogon in Ara Cruets a Chris to
Servatore prolatum. Frf. et Lips. 1726. De Verbis
ultimis Christi morientis. Helmst. 1728.
Jon. Rota, Diss. Philologica de exdamatione
Salvatoris in Cruce. Lond. 1738.
F. C. Lugeri, DC Quarto Salvatoris Crucifixi
Verbo. Jenae, 1739.
Chr. Matth. Pfaffius, De Precibus Christi pro
Crucifixoribus suis fusis. Tub. 1746.
C. E. Weismannus, In Verbum Christi in Cruce
Pendentis Quartum. Tub. 1746.
Gabr. Hummse, Veneti, De VII. Verbis Domini
Angeli Sangrini, De VII. J. C. Verbis Meditationes
Eliseo Masini, Delle sette parole di Cristo in Croce.
Franc. Barberino Masserano, Discorsi sopra le
parole, che disse in Ebraico idioma Cristo S. N.
sopra la Croce.
Benedictus XIV. De Festis, c. vii. p. 223.
Divizione delle tre ore deir Agonia di G. C. S. N.
Composta in Lima nel Peru, in Lingua Spagnuola
dal P. Alfonzo Messia della Comp. di Gesii e
maniera usata dallo stesso Autore. Roma, 1789,
per Gioach. Puccinelli.
Esercizio di divizione in onore delle tre ore deir
Agonia di G. C. N. S. Composto in Lingua
Spagnuola dal M. R. Padre, e Servo di Dio il
P. Alonzo Messia della Comp. di Gesu, e nuova-
mente traslato nella Lingua nostra italiana dal
Cav. Giangiacomo della Pegna. Roma, 1795, P er
A. Fulgoni, Divoto Esercizio da Principiarsi nel
Venerdi S. dalle ore 18 alle 21, in memoria delle tre
ore deir Agonia di G. C. Roma, 1795.
Of more modern books, or of books less exclu
sively devoted to the Seven Words, there may
be mentioned speciminis gratia :
Cristobal de Fonseca, Vida de Cristo.
Luis de la Palma, S.J., History of the Sacred
Ignacio de Quintanaduenas, Cristo Crucificado.
P. Gallwey, S.J., The Watches of tJu Passion.
H. J. Coleridge, S.J., The Public Life of our Lord.
And among Anglicans :
H. Scott Holland, Good Friday.
W. J. Knox Little, The Three Hours Agony.
A. G. Mortimer, The Seven Last Words.
PRINTED BY JOHN GRIFFIN.
BT 430 .M47 1899 SMC
The devotion of the three
hours agony on Good Friday